(Reuters) – UK shares tumbled for a fifth straight session on Wednesday, as a U.S. warning to brace for a corona virus pandemic raised fears of widespread disruptions to supply chains, while Rio Tinto became the latest company to flag a hit from the outbreak.
The Anglo-Australian miner (L:RIO) said it would see a short-term impact from the epidemic, which has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700. Its shares were flat in early trading as it posted its best underlying earnings since 2011.
With the deadly virus spreading rapidly outside China, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has alerted Americans to begin preparing for a likely pandemic.
London’s export-laden FTSE 100 slid 0.5% to a one-year low, while the domestically focused mid-cap index (FTMC) shed 0.3%.
Sectors reliant on China for revenue, including miners (FTNMX1770) and luxury goods makers (FTNMX3760) , fell between 0.5% and 0.7%.